Iraq Readying Toxic Arms

(New York Times) - Statements from Iraqi prisoners of war and electronic eavesdropping on Iraqi government communications indicate that Saddam Hussein has moved chemical weapons to the Medina Division, one of three Republican Guard divisions guarding the approaches to Baghdad, Army officials said. They strongly believed he would use the weapons as allied troops moved toward Baghdad to oust him and his government. Intelligence information pointed to Mr. Hussein deploying 155-millimeter artillery weapons with shells carrying mustard gas as well as sarin, or nerve agents, an especially deadly weapon. Mr. Hussein used these chemical agents against the Iranians and the country's Kurdish population in the 1980s. Some military officers said Mr. Hussein had, in the last week or so, moved the artillery pieces that could fire chemical weapons into hiding, not only near the Medina Division, south of Baghdad, but in western Iraq. Intelligence officers said that although deployment of such weapons would give the lie to Mr. Hussein's denial that he had them, he might be calculating that the step would stunt the American assault. Officials said well-hidden Iraqi artillery sites about to launch such a weapon could possibly avoid detection.

2003-03-28 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive